Accenture upgraded its Linux Foundation membership to expand on its work with the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). Accenture is building a comprehensive ONAP-as-a-service that it can bring to market. Accenture joined ONAP in 2017.
ONAP’s platform provides real-time policy driven automation and orchestration of both physical and virtual network functions. This allows for developers as well as software, network, IT, and cloud providers to automate new services and support lifecycle management. The project issued its third code release in December, deemed Casablanca. The release introduced two new blueprints for the platform: a cross-carrier blueprint and a 5G blueprint.
Accenture’s commercial ONAP-as-a-service offering is built primarily for communications service providers and network equipment providers so that they can fully operationalize the open source platform. It will provide integration, customization, and managed services to support these providers’ transition from hardware-based to software-based networks.
While the as-a-service version of ONAP will include the project’s hardened community releases, it will also be based on a number of Accenture assets. This includes the creation of a customer portal as well as a multi-vendor virtual network function (VNF) test and certification portal and platform. In addition the platform will have an application for service assurance and resource-management for NFV infrastructure and VNFs. As part of the commercial offering, Accenture will also provide ONAP integration packs.
Offering a commercial version of the open source platform, Accenture can provide network vendors and communications service providers with a way to build and deploy VNFs as cloud native applications. The platform framework is both vendor neutral and works cross-industries.
There are a number of other vendors that are creating commercial ONAP products. Amdocs has been involved with the project from the beginning and has implemented ONAP on Microsoft Azure. This allows for companies to orchestrate and manage virtual network services running on Azure.
Other commercial examples include: Ericsson incorporating ONAP components into both its Orchestrator and Network Manager; Huawei building design-time and run-time platforms based on ONAP; and IBM offering ONAP on IBM Cloud Private.